Non-Skier's Primer on Park City: Deer Valley

Written by: Michael Purser
Posted: January 31, 2017


Park City is Utah's favorite playground. There is an endless variety of incredible activities to choose from, even if you find yourself in town without skis on a winter day. Try our non-skier's primer on Deer Valley for the best things to try while your friends and family stand in line for the lifts.


Deer Valley is often seen as the exclusive retreat destination in Park City. There is an extent to which this reputation is deserved. After all, Deer Valley is physically separated from most of Park City, remote and shrouded in woodland tranquility, and the slopes are exclusively reserved for skiers, rather than mingling with lowly snowboarders. Regardless, Deer Valley is a surprisingly accessible ski area filled with gorgeous resorts, high-end eateries, and relaxing spas.

Despite their carefully curated image and airs of exclusivity, Deer Valley really isn’t that unapproachable. With recent changes to the other big ski areas, Deer Valley can even be cheaper than Park City base area or Canyons Village base area, making the surrounding area a good option even for budget-conscious travellers.

Getting Around

Relatively secluded, Deer Valley is set apart from the bulk of town, up winding roads and hilly terrain. If you want to leave the Deer Valley area, you are going to want access to reliable transportation.

Trips into town, grocery runs, or lazy afternoons of window shopping are all going to require something more ambitious than the free bus system. Notably, some of the resorts in the area offer complimentary shuttle rides for guests, but these systems are often overloaded during the busier parts of the season, and make feature long waiting lists. It might be a better choice to bring or rent a vehicle for your own use. Otherwise, you’ll be enjoying a vacation cut off from the rest of the world, whether you intend to or not.



One of the benefits of hanging out around all the high-end destinations is that many of them offer lavish and luxurious spas. Guests in the Deer Valley area are spoiled for choice when it comes to pampering body and soul. You can find anything from a quick massage to full Ayurvedic overhauls. Take in some aromatherapy, get a wrap, or soak in the warmth from some hot stones.

Keep up the relaxation when you get back with some of the fabulous hot tubs, fireplace, and other soothing features common to the area’s gorgeous vacation rentals. Since so many of the properties in the area focus on luxury and comfort, it is easy to assemble a list of sumptuous spots to lounge about, from live music lounges to cavernous lobbies surrounding mammoth fireplaces, whether you are a guest at that hotel or not. Believe it or not, many of them don’t much care.

Or you could just stay in your room in front of the fire, under the covers, and enjoying some low-key television or the views of the mountain tranquility.

Treat Your Taste Buds


While Main Street has an abundance of delicious restaurants, Deer Valley is the home of the gourmet experience. If you want to enjoy some of the most delicate flavors in town, look no further.

Brass Tag consistently delivers outstanding cuisine, and a trip to the Viking Yurt is the sort of unforgettable culinary adventure you will be talking about for decades. Quality over quantity is the order of things in Deer Valley, and you just aren’t going to find a fast-food joint within any reasonable distance.

The one thing Deer Valley lacks, in terms of comestibles, is a basic grocery store. You’ll have to head into town for most of your basics, but the Deer Valley Grocery Cafe will keep you fed on the run, and features the famous turkey chili that keeps locals coming back for more.

Get Into Nature


All of that gorgeous terrain is good for more than just looking pretty. Even if you don’t ski, you can get back into the backcountry on snowshoes, fat tire bikes, cross-country skis, snow mobiles, or even horse-drawn sleighs.

Getting in touch with nature offers unique physical challenges as well as some of the most staggering vistas in the area. There is a nature experience for all budgets and levels of physical ambition. If all you want to do is have a seat and enjoy the ride, the Jordanelle Express Gondola offers a chance to glide down to the Jordanelle Reservoir while getting an incredible view of the Uintas.

The more dedicated outdoorsman/outdoorswoman can find daily trail grooming reports from the Mountain Trails Foundation to help choose the perfect route for a scenic hike into the mountains atop a sturdy pair of snowshoes.